God deserves our praise above all else. In Psalm 138:1 David says, I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. When David mentions “gods”, this could be anything we put before the only true God. It could be an actual idol or simply something we deem more important than God. We must put God higher than anyone and anything, because he deserves our praise and reverence.
Sometime, in our sorrow, we forget what it’s like to be joyful. When the Israelites were exiled or in captivity, they would work hard to maintain their culture and their identity as God’s chosen people. Often that identity was tied to their life back in Jerusalem. In Psalm 137:5 the author wants to desperately remember his identity as God’s chosen and what it meant to live as a free and sovereign nation under God: If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. For us, when we are far from God or when we have lost our joy because of the sorrow in our lives, we should cling closely to our identity in Christ and the freedom we have from salvation, regardless of our present circumstances. While this is easier said than done, there will be times when this is all we have.
When God chose us, He did so before we ever chose Him. Just as God chose Jacob and Israel in Psalm 135:4 He chooses us today, For the Lord has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be His treasured possession. God treasures us and gives love and mercy to all who believe, accept, and choose to have a relationship with Him.
There is nothing sweeter than the feeling you get from true worship. When we feel God’s presence, it is truly something wonderful. Psalm 134:2 says, Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord. Make your worship a true act of praise no matter where you are. It should feel like an individual act even in a group of people.
As the body of Christ here on earth, we should live in unity and encourage one another to build a closer relationship with God. Unfortunately, too often we focus on minor differences of opinion. Psalm 133:1 says, How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! When we live in harmony with one another, we can spend more time focusing on Christ rather than ourselves. I believe disharmony is the greatest tool Satan has at his disposal. When we are focused internally on simple disagreements it becomes easy to lose focus on what’s really important.
In today’s reading we see two things. First, in Psalm 132:2 where it talks about David and says, He swore and oath to the Lord and made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob. Second, in Psalm 132:11 it says about God, The Lord swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke. The Psalm was written when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem and David danced and sang praises. It was returned in keeping to a promise God made to David for his faithful service. The message of this Psalm is simple; Honor God and He will honor you.
Pride creates a sense of self-importance that takes away God’s glory. It also removes our ability to see the simple things in our lives as what has true value. In Psalm 131:1 David says, My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. If we are able to look to God for the simple things and trust in Him for what’s important, then we are able to relax and know He is ultimately in control and all glory goes to Him.
Have you ever thought about what salvation really means? It means forgiveness of our sins and our sinful nature. It is literally God forgetting all the many and creative ways we sin. Psalm 130:3-4 says, 3 If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. If God kept a record of our sin, the burden would continue to be overwhelming. But God removes the weight and eternal consequences of sin and frees us to be who He intended us to be. Likewise, God gives us an example of how we are to forgive others. If we cannot release others from their transgressions against us, then we have not truly forgiven them.
We are not slaves to unrighteousness. God has set us free by His grace and love. Psalm 129:4 says, But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked. Through our freedom found only through God’s perfect plan, we are no longer tied to sin. That doesn’t mean we are perfect, but through God’s power and grace we have the tools to be free from the damaging power of sin in our lives. Trusting and relying on God’s strength through the Holy Spirit is all we need to conquer sin.